Essays in the Tim Maroney Web Collection
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The Book of Dzyan
Definition of the Sacred
Descent: A Meditation
Even If I Did Believe
Facts and Phallacies
The Freedom of Doubt
Healing The Spiritual Community
Hekate and the Satanic School
Introduction to Crowley
The Included Middle
A Letter to Close
The Problems of Syncretism
Theory of Divination
Why Crowley Doesn't Suck
Why I Study Magic
This work from the Summer of 2001 is a guided meditation through the realms of science, inspired by the works of Carl Sagan, Heinz Pagels, Richard Ely, Alan Moore, Phylis and Philip Morrison, and others. It is the closing of the presentation "Scientific Meditations," and the kernel of my book in progress of that name. It was first delivered at NOTOCON III in Long Beach, and since then at Pantheacon 2002 and Mons Abiegnus Oasis in Mill Valley, California. This meditation has appeared in The Scarlet Letter.
In Fall 1997 this 10,000 word piece came forth over the period of a few hours, preceding the end of my four-year relationship and my then-longest job. I was concerned that no living writer was looking at Aleister Crowley from a critical perspective, as opposed to muckraking or defensive advocacy writing. The literary conceit of the five voices was intended to broaden the scope of public opinion. It will be published in an improved and expanded form, with two new chapters and an additional voice, in the upcoming disinformation anthology in 2003.
In the late 1980's I underwent a series of visionary dreams or underworld initiations in which I performed devotional practices to Hekate and her classical sorceress Medea. These images were life-changing for me on many levels, and they opened me to spiritual experiences through ritual that made me a priest. I considered this vision potential infrastructure for forming a group, since I was dissatisfied with the occult and pagan group of the time, but I soon found the experiment unsatisfying and abandoned it. I have abstracted the idea for that group to a statement of principles of of the Satanic school, a literary approach to underworld spirituality. These are principles by which I still live.
After I became a member of Scarlet Woman Lodge of the O.T.O. in Austin, Texas in 1997, I began a series of columns for their magazine, The Scarlet Letter. The first two installments came out in 1998. The third was published in the newsletter of Hodos Chameleonis Oasis in Sacramento, California. The fourth appeared again in the Scarlet Letter.
In December 1997 Lilinah Biti-Anat asked me casually why I was into magic. I found this a very hard question to answer and it has taken me three months to get this response into shape. Why the difficulty? I have a distaste for formulaic answers, such as "to know and do my will," and when I approach my real love of the subject I become uneasy. Here is my current understanding of why I continue to be involved with a subject that is so often a source of dismay.
This started as a network message on Thelema93-L in 1997, in response to concerns expressed by Jeffrey Smith about juxtaposition of Hebrew and Egyptian divine names in the Golden Dawn. Syncretism is a major issue in modern occultism and paganism, but most of the people practicing it don't know what it is. The idea that the monomyth should be studied as a valid myth rather than disparaged as bad scholarship had been growing in me for some time and this discussion gave me the perfect opportunity to express my thoughts on the subject. This version has been expanded and clarified, including responses to some issues raised by John Everall.
This is another piece from the Thelema93-L mailing list in 1997. It is an attempt to answer the musical question, "Why would anyone study a creep like Aleister Crowley?" It laid some of the groundwork for the Introduction to Crowley and Why I Study Magic and is presented here in its original form.
This 7,000 word essay on the psychology and sociology of the darker side of spiritual group dynamics was written in 1994. It is one of my life goals to expand this essay to its proper length and publish it as a book.
This essay was extracted from a Tarot HyperCard stack I worked on in 1990. It tries to survey a variety of approaches to the question of how and whether divination works. I have fixed it up slightly to remove references to the context in which it originally ran. The multi-theoretical approach of the essay prefigures the multi-voice approach of the Introduction to Crowley. I tried to disguise my own views; see if you can tell which theory I most endorse!
A network message from the late-1980's FidoNet/PODS period, this piece frequently turns up on the networks. The idea of a multi-dimensional analysis of spiritual experience is a major part of my thinking to the present day, and it is the foundation of multi-voice pieces such as Theory of Divination and Introduction to Crowley (in Five Voices).
This message was written for USENET's talk.religion.misc in early December 1986, in response to a request for information on paganism. It is a little starry-eyed about the tolerance of pagans, and there are some issues of historical interpretation that I have since come to approach rather differently, but otherwise the piece seems to need little revision. I have left it in its original state except to correct typographical errors.
After the right-wing fundamentalist Christians who ran the Computer Science department at UNC threw me off the network due to my occult and leftist views, I went to Carnegie Mellon and started the New Age Mailing List. At the time the term "New Age" hadn't been stigmatized as it has now, and this mailing list was "the first international computer network run by a pagan or occultist, for pagans and occultists". This little essay appeared in the first number, on Fri Dec 21, 1984. This is a later draft from June 1990, which I have tweaked again in this March 1998 version.It is a practical instruction in one of the primary rituals of Golden Dawn-derived magic, from which the Wiccan circle ritual also derives. I will probably augment it with pictures in the future.
This late draft of an early religious essay from 1983 and 1984 is an example of my "angry young man" phase. I have outgrown the anti-Christianity of the piece, and now feel that Christianity is no better or worse than most other religions overall. Those of us who were raised in it and came to realize its falsehood and other problems naturally experience feelings of betrayal, but other religions contain moral and ethical flaws of similar magnitude. (We know about foreign traditions largely from advocacy writing, after all.) Still, nearly twenty years later, I am happy with the style and the reasoning. The piece remains a serious challenge to simple-minded Biblical literalism.